Alec Baldwin pushes for arts funding in D.C.

Alec Baldwin. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Alec Baldwin and musician Ben Folds are in Washington to press for increased funding for the arts amid cuts in recent years as Congress and the White House have searched for ways to reduce spending.

In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Baldwin says many parts of the country need federal funding for the arts to make sure people have access to affordable theater, dance and music that can enrich their lives.

With just under $147 million in federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts this year, Baldwin says the nation has fallen far short of its high of $175 million in funding in 1992.

Folds, who is a judge on NBC's "The Sing-Off," says he would be bussing tables if it weren't for his arts education.

In other news, Baldwin says he's still a fan of NBC despite tweeting angrily last week that he was "leaving NBC just in time" after a "Today" show crew camped outside his apartment building.

In Washington to push for arts funding, the actor said Monday that a big draw of joining the cast of "30 Rock" was working at NBC.

Baldwin says he'll finish a seventh season of "30 Rock" but that it's slated to end next year.

He says NBC needs to redo its lineup to get out of ratings trouble. Baldwin says NBC has the best programming legacy, but he's not a fan of "Today."

He says there's always ABC's "Good Morning America" or CNN's Anderson Cooper at night. The "Today" crew stakeout followed the arrest of a woman on charges of stalking Baldwin. Baldwin says his next project will be a Broadway play.